4 Positive Ways Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Can Improve Self-Worth

4 Positive Ways Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Can Improve Self-Worth

Going through the hell that is narcissistic abuse does a real number to your ability to see your own self-worth. And while “self-worth” might not seem like a very important thing in theory, it can affect literally every single aspect of your life – and this does include your physical health, not to mention your mental health and ability to succeed in life.

Here’s a difficult truth: If you’re finding yourself feeling STUCK, or suffering from a lack of motivation, or feelings of depression or stagnation in your life, it could be due to a lack of self-worth.

“Self-worth” is a phrase we see thrown around a lot, and for survivors of narcissistic abuse, it can certainly be awkward to address.

What is self-worth?

Self-worth is the level of value you place on yourself as an individual. Think of it as a step above self-respect. Having self-respect means that you understand that you are valuable as a person, while self-worth means that you feel valuable among people – that you feel that you bring something special to the table; that you are valuable.

Why do narcissistic abuse survivors have low self-worth?

Or, like many narcissistic abuse survivors, perhaps you are or were in a toxic relationship with an abusive narcissist who destroyed your self-image and your self-worth. Maybe you don’t even know who you are anymore. This is due to the myriad of ways that narcissistic abuse changes you.

In other words, narcissists TAKE certain things from you during a toxic relationship – watch this video for additional context.

There are a number of other reasons a person might struggle with lowered self-worth. For example, maybe you feel a low sense of self-worth because you may feel like you haven’t learned or accomplished as much as those around you. Or, maybe you’ve just entered a new space in which you feel less qualified than those around you, or you recently tried something that didn’t work out and it damaged your sense of self-worth. Whatever your situation is, there’s nothing wrong with the feeling that you need to earn a sense of self-worth provided that you know where to start. So what are you supposed to do?

How do you define your self-worth after narcissistic abuse?

How do you rediscover (or discover for the first time) your self-worth? How can you recognize your value as a person?

First: Change Your Perspective

Your perspective is the way you see things, and the first and most important thing you can do to improve your self-worth is to change your perspective.

Interesting fact: after being emotionally and mentally abused, we tend to become people-pleasers. This leads us to attempt to improve our self-worth by trying to prove ourselves to other people.

This almost never works, at least not for long. Validation from outside ourselves is fleeting and dependent on other people. We have to learn to self-validate – this is the only way to truly own our sense of self and self-worth.

Start by looking at how far you’ve come in your journey rather than comparing yourself to other people. And remember: everyone is different, and none of us was born with all of the knowledge, experience, and skills that make us valuable. Other people aren’t better than you because they got there first.

Learn Something New or Start a Project

I always find that a good project can be just what I need to get out of a slump. Maybe the project IS learning something new, or maybe it’s a creative venture. Either way, there’s a certain sense of accomplishment in creating, and in knowing that you know something. It gives you something to focus on, something to talk about and think about – something positive instead of negative. Learning something new that you are passionate about can help you to “grow forward” in some pretty significant ways. Join a club devoted to your passion, or just try to find some time on your own to do some reading and then find people with whom you share your interests. It’s a beautiful thing, my friend.

Not sure what you’re passionate about? No worries! Grab your free passion planner, right here. 

Try Volunteering

Maybe you can use your newfound skills as a volunteer. Not only could it help to improve your opinion of yourself, but it can also be the perfect outlet for your creative energy. Plus: volunteering is great for self-worth for a couple of reasons.

  • Sense of accomplishment and purpose – By volunteering, no matter what you do, you are giving your time and energy in order to help those who are less fortunate than you. Maybe you didn’t graduate at the top of your class or that last project at work didn’t go the way that you hoped, but every volunteer should feel that they are doing meaningful work and that their efforts are appreciated.
  • Using your talents in a supportive and unique environment – Learning new skills or learning how to use your skills in new ways can both be great ways to discover or increase your potential in an environment that is likely to be more supportive and less judgmental than a school or work environment.

Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is SO important in understanding our self-worth. It might seem obvious, but taking even a few minutes a day to just take care of YOU can change your whole world – and it can most definitely build self-worth.

Get Help WIth Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

These resources will help you with your narcissistic abuse recovery.

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Find the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Find the Light at the End of the Tunnel

“No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you’ll find the positive side of things.” ~Demi Lovato

Find the light at the end of your tunnel

The Brick Wall in Narcissistic Abuse and Toxic Relationships

If you ask me, being in a relationship with a narcissist feels a lot like running your head into the same brick wall, over and over. And despite the fact that it gets bloody and beaten, you don’t stop. You just keep running your head into the wall, hoping to get through it (and make it happy) – and while you logically realize, eventually, that there’s no breaking that wall down, and that the wall is not capable of change, something in you makes you keep hitting the wall, bloodying your head and hoping for different results.

When you look at it that way, it seems literally insane, right? After all, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things but to expect different results. But in the case of a narcissist, it’s not as simple as a brick wall. It’s a convoluted mess! If you want to learn more about narcissistic abuse, you can do so here – check out these articles or this resource page. Or, start your narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

For now, let’s talk about recovery from narcissistic abuse.

How do you find hope when you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse?

So let’s talk about the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m about to wax philosophical on your ass, so get ready. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you can probably agree that eventually, you stop living for yourself and start living to avoid the next blow-up, drama, or manipulation.

Narcissistic abuse makes you forget who you are.

When you’re dealing with gaslighting and the other ways a narcissist will abuse you, you’re almost always just “existing,” and while you might not admit this to many people, you sort of forget who you really are.

So many people have come to me as they were beginning the process of recovering from an abusive narcissist asking me how I was able to redefine and rediscover myself after escaping my own narcissistic abuse situation. And this is what I tell them.

Life with a narcissist is life in the dark.

Living with a narcissist means living without real passion – not the kind that drives you to do great things, anyway.

As I see it, living without that kind of passion is sort of like living in the dark. Food doesn’t taste as good, the air doesn’t smell as nice, the colors don’t seem as bright.

Without passion in our lives, it’s as though there’s a barrier between our senses and the world around us, one which doesn’t allow us to fully experience our lives.

This barrier could present itself in the way of depression, anger, fear, or any number of debilitating emotions. Or maybe there’s a certain situation in our lives of which we’ve lost control. Maybe it’s simply that we’re bored, and that we’ve begun to take our blessings for granted.

This can lead to a very toxic state for our souls and even our bodies. But we can change our minds, and this can change our lives. Start now by trying this Bliss Mission.

Bliss Mission: Discover What Inspires You

Begin with figuring out what inspires you. Then, find a way to make it happen. This can help you to start living with passion, and living with passion is one of the first steps to becoming whole, to becoming truly happy.

Whatever your passion or inspiration, take some small step toward it today, and let the rest flow. If you’re not sure where to start, consider taking a walk to clear your head, or writing in a journal to work it out. You could draw or paint a picture, or cook your favorite meal. Take a bath or do a little yoga. Whatever works for you.

Tell yourself that today is the day that you begin living with passion and purpose. And then, my friends, do it. Your life will be richer and your heart will be happier.

Feel good! You ready? Let’s do this.

Resources to Help with Gaslighting in Narcissistic Abuse

If you feel you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional who is trained in helping people who are dealing with overcoming narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. Depending on your particular situation, you might benefit from Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching, or you might do better with a therapist. You have to decide what to do from here – if you’re not sure, start with my free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery quiz. With your results will come recommended resources for your situation. It’s totally free.

More Help for Dealing with Gaslighting in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

The Love-Yourself Action Plan: Start This Now

The Love-Yourself Action Plan: Start This Now

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

lucille ball love yourself quotesDo you accept yourself for who you are, or are you the type of person who doesn’t feel comfortable in their own skin?

Does it kind of feel like you’re always in self-improvement mode? Like you are always trying to be someone else?

Feeling comfortable and accepting yourself is important if you want to lead a fulfilling and happy life.  More than that, if you constantly focus on what’s wrong with you, you’re definitely going to find more things to complain about.

Try loving yourself instead – that makes it much easier to be happy as well as to manifest the good things you want in your life.

Here’s the thing – you might be ready to quit reading this post about now, ready to chalk me up to being another one of those quacks. But hold up! Not so fast.

It can happen. You can learn to make things go your way. And it all starts with one simple thing: the ability to fall madly in love with your very own self. No joke.

I promise you, you’ve got to love yourself before anything is ever going to change in your life. You might have to fake it a little at first. That’s okay. Just do it – because it’s totally worth your effort.

Ready to start changing your life?

Let’s take a look at how you can learn to know and love yourself like never before.

Self-Assessment: What Do I Want?

Start by reading over the following questions. Take a few minutes to jot down the answers in a notebook or document.

  1. Who is the person that you want to become? Describe the ideal you in detail.
  2. What are the things that you really care about?
  3. Is there anything or anyone who you may lose if you start to live the life you truly want?
  4. What one step can you take today to get closer to becoming the best possible version of yourself?

Write your answers out in detail. This way you have a full description of the person you want to become and why.

What to Expect When You’re Accepting (Yourself)

During this journey you also need to understand and accept that nobody is perfect – and that means all of us. We’ve all got our faults, and we’ve all gotta learn to live with them.

So, now that you’ve made the decision, it’s time. You’re finally ready to begin living your life the way you want to, and the way you deserve to!

Learn to Love Yourself

Sure, it sounds like it’s easier said than done, but what would the world be like for you if you were totally, madly, head-over-heels in love with yourself?

Maybe there are parts of yourself that you are extremely happy with, and of course, there might also be those that you hate.

Love Your Quirks

You have to stop hating on yourself and get busy changing your perception.

If you have habits that can be changed, great! That means you’ve got a place to start.

If you just have quirks, they’re just part of your personality. They identify what is unique about you, as a person. You need to accept and love your quirks!

I always say they’re just part of my charm.

In daily practice, the best place to start is to do the things that you can do – and to focus on the things that really make you feel awesome. Those are also the things that kind of show the world who you really are.

So if you’re itching to speak on something – then speak on! Never let the approval or disapproval of others stand in the way of your speaking your mind. You’ve got to be true to yourself if you’re ever going to be really happy.

Bedtime Bolstering

Each night before you go to bed, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Was I the best possible version of myself today?
  2. Did I make the right choices?
  3. What could I have done better?
  4. What was the brightest moment of my day?
  5. What is the perfect vision of my perfect tomorrow.

Fall asleep with your perfect tomorrow in your mind’s eye. It’ll help you to begin to manifest the life you really want, because you’ll be drawing that beautiful, positive energy toward yourself.

Remember to be brave – don’t let fear prevent you from speaking your truth or doing what you need to do to be happy.

But that doesn’t mean you have to be rude about it – and you should always speak in love, whenever possible. Hate doesn’t foster the kind of change any of us really want.

Like I said, you might have to fake the whole “OMG I’M SO IN LOVE WITH MYSELF!!” thing for a minute – and that’s okay. Because once you master the art of “faking it,” you’ll be on the way to MAKING IT.

Maybe you won’t do the whole screaming it to yourself thing, either. But you’ve got to find a way to realize that YOU are a person who is worth that kind of love, and you’ve got to give it to yourself before you can get it or give it to anyone else.

I promise you, it won’t be boring, and it’ll be worth it when you see your life begin to resemble the one you really want. Don’t you think?

What do you say? 

Check out Angela Atkinson’s books at BooksAngieWrote.com

Help a New Mom: Can I Still Breastfeed My Baby After All THIS?

Help a New Mom: Can I Still Breastfeed My Baby After All THIS?

Did you know breastfeeding isn’t for everyone? Well, believe it or not breastfeeding is not as easy as it looks! And this new mom could really use some help from some of you more experienced ones out there. 

My Crazy Breastfeeding Attempts, Tongue Tie and ‘Helpful’ Nurses

Human-Male-White-Newborn-Baby-CryingWhile I was pregnant, I was so excited to breastfeed and have that bonding experience with my son.

Well as it turns out, in the hospital my son was having trouble latching on to my breast.

No one even mentioned that there was such a thing as a tongue tie.

And it kind of pisses me off, because if they had, I could have had them clip it in order to have that bonding experience with my son.

Instead the nurses told me to start supplementing, because he was losing to much weight. And being kinda new to this whole mother thing – I did what they said. 

Ever since I have been trying to get my supply up. By pumping pumping pumping.

In fact I even purchased three different pumps in order to find the best one for my breast.

I was also eating lactation cookies, staying away from caffeine. The whole nine yards. None of it was working. I was devastated that I was only able to feed my baby formula.

That’s when I decided to…

Stop concerning my self so much about it, and to try to believe that it might just come naturally, And instead of pumping, to actually put him to the breast to feed. And just see where that got me.

So as of now, I’m working hard to get my supply up and still having that skin to skin mouth to breast time, regardless if he is getting any milk or not. So far, so good. 

I could really use some advice – can anyone help me out? Have you had to try to re-lactate before? How’d you do it? What tips can you offer? Thanks in advance.

Share your breastfeeding experiences down below!

My Two Cents: What Size Is Your Sexy?

My Two Cents: What Size Is Your Sexy?

What is sexy? These days, it seems like Hollywood and the media want to intimidate us all into being a size 2. So let’s talk about this, shall we?

I’ve got questions. You got answers?

I seriously want to know what people think about this one.

Is a size 2 really sexy? It might be just intimidating enough to keep us all in tent-like clothes, right? 

If a size 2 IS sexy (and I think many will say it is), then does it mean that a size 22 is any less sexy? What do you think?

Do most women think that being a size 2 is the new sexy size? Who really is a size 2, anyway?

And what about men? Do they prefer a size 2 to a “real woman,” seriously? LET ME HEAR IT!what size is your sexy

My Two Cents: It’s not what you have – it’s how ya work it!

If you ask me, being sexy is not what size you are, but what you do with that size you are. Don’t you know that sex sells?

Well sell it baby! Work with what you have. Believe it or not, you can be sexy right now, exactly how you are – in this very moment. 

You really can be sexy at any size – it’s all about your attitude and beliefs about your self. Check out Angela Atkinson’s book – How to Be a Hot Wife – and learn how to step up your sexy game. 

For me, PLUS is the new SEXY.

Just my two cents. 

So tell me, what size is YOUR sexy? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below. Let’s talk. 

 

 

Keep on keepin’ on – or not?

Keep on keepin’ on – or not?

Where do you go when you don’t feel like you’re going anywhere in your trip to being a healthier, smaller version of yourself? What happens to you at that moment in time where you’ve tried (what seems like) everything and nothing is working? Where does your mind and body take you when you’re stuck?

This is always a risky area for me. I would say for a solid eighty percent of my time I am on autopilot. To quote my pal Carolyn, “It’s just what we do now”, meaning going to the gym, eating properly, not binging, not freaking out about every little inconsistency or speed bump in the path, is our new “norm”. lather rinse repeatIt’s just what we do. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The other twenty percent of my time is split between the extremes.

Fifteen percent of that time is spent ‘dorphined up, feeling like I’m taking on the world and conquering it bit by bit. Nothing bothers me. Nothing could stand in my way. I have a great attitude and hold my head up high.

In steps that pesky last five percent of my time, which is where I’ve been feeling for the past week. That last five percent is the part that says “you cannot win this game no matter what you do”. I’m living on “screw it” street in my little village and it’s such a dodgy area.  There’s bums on the corners… big bums who haven’t seen a Stairmaster in years.  There are seedy people in the shadows just lurking about waiting for you to trip up so they can dart out and rummage through your bag, stealing your hidden snack. The street pharmacists are on the corners handing out your drug of choice, be it cheesecake, chips or chocolate. Or worse yet, a cocktail of all three.

So where do you go? What do you do? Who do you turn to?

My first line of defense, and I didn’t even realize it until I started writing today, is my husband, Marco. Today, these words actually left my face and entered his ears.

“I’ve been doing horrible with my food. I just feel like saying screw it all”.

Those words were actually audible. To another human besides myself. I really said that to him. That’s when I realized he’s always my first stop on the self-destruction train. I like to run my ideas of giving up past him first.

It’s actually laughable as I write it because of course I’m never going to stop but maybe I just need a break. A break from what?

I’d like to call my second line of defense to the stand – Carolyn. You’ll remember her from this post.

She’s who I turn to next. She’s going to read this, as I run most of my posts past her before publishing and she’ll have some brilliant encouraging words to say. Or a punch in the arm, you know, whatever she feels will work at the time. Never fail though, she’s walking the walk and talking the talk with me.

Keeping in mind that this is still only a mere five percent of my time, sometimes I realize my funk is a bit funkier than I like it to be and I pull out the big guns.

When I left Novarum, the center where I got help for my food issues, they had me write a list of things that just worked for me, mentally and physically. It seemed so silly at the time to write it all down, they were so fresh in my mind, but I did it. I tucked it away in a book and just keep it there.

That’s my “big guns”, a piece of paper with words of wisdom that I wrote myself.

“Following this routine makes me more calm about food choices.”

I no longer hide my eating or have that shame that was associated with hiding and eating.”

“If one of my goals ends up backfiring, that’s okay. This is all just a huge experiment to find that best fit for my life, which will change and evolve as I do.” 

That’s just a few of the items on that yellowing piece of paper that I use, third line of defense, to keep me centered.

It is so much more than words on paper though. It takes me back to the basics. Back to where I started winning this thing. Back to the really simple ideas of changing the way I thought about food, myself, myself with food, food with myself and all things related, which in the end, was everything.

I get back to the beginning of this chapter in my life and re-read it like a favorite book.

Then I keep on keeping on because that five percent, that little flash of time, has had its moment of glory and I know how to move on.

postit when u feel like quitting

 

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